American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Janesville [WI] Gazette, November 7, 1850

This story was originally published as “Recollections of a Police-Officer: The Twins” in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal on June 21, 1850.

This story was later published in the collection Recollections of a Police-Officer by William Russell, under the pseudonym Thomas Waters (London: J.& C. Brown & Co., 1856).

Prior to the British publication of this volume, a pirated collection of the stories—also titled Recollections of a Police-Officer—was published in America (New York: Cornish and Lamport, 1852).



"The Twins," continued from p. 9

Mr. Malvern comprehended at a glance the situation of affairs and made a furious dash at the paper. I was quicker as well as stronger than he and he failed in his object. Resistance was, of course, out of the question; and in less than two hours we were speeding on the rail towards London, accompanied by the child, whom we intrusted to Williams’ servant maid.

Mrs. Repton was still in town, and Mrs. Ashton, Lady Redwood and her unmarried sister, in their impatience of intelligence, had arrived several days before. I had the pleasure of accompanying Mrs. Repton with the child and his temporary nurse to Osborne’s hotel in the Adelphi; and I really at first feared for the excited mother’s reason, or that she would do the infant mischief, so tumultuous, so frenzied, was her rapturous joy at the recovery of her lost treasure. When placed in the cot beside the infant, the resemblance of the one to the other was certainly almost perfect. I never saw before nor since so complete a likeness. This was enough for the mother; but fortunately, we had much more satisfactory evidence, legally viewed, to establish the identity of the child in a court of law, should the necessity arise for

    doing so.

Here, as far as I am concerned, all positive knowledge of this curious piece of family history ends. Of subsequent transactions between the parties I had no personal cognizance. I only know there was a failure of justice, and I can pretty well guess from what motives. The parties I arrested in Birmingham were kept in strict custody for several days; but no inducement, no threats could induce the institutors of the inquiry to appear against the detected criminals.

Mr. and Mrs. Ashton, Lady Redwood and her children, left town the next day for Redwood Manor; and Mr. Repton coolly told the angry superintendent that he had no instructions to prosecute. He, too, was speedily off; and the prisoners were necessarily discharged out of custody.

I saw about three weeks afterwards in a morning paper that Mr. Malvern, “whom the birth of a posthumous heir in a direct line necessarily deprived of all chance of succession to the Redwood estates, and the baronetcy,

Continued on p. 11


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